Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Show and Tell September 2015

Fall is officially here at last dear readers and I feel great. The windows are open, ghost shows air nightly, and store aisles are filled with so many fun things. It may be out of fashion these days but I take a considerable amount of pleasure from senseless materialism. Over the last week I've been allowed to indulge like never before. Not all of it was silly though as I now have life insurance for some odd reason. The main purpose of this post was to write about a Thursday evening shopping spree but seeing as I've written this intro three different ways already and have a mystery box inbound, it's definitely time to get a move on and show off all the new spooky items.

With seasonal d├ęcor finally on full display it was time to shop for new Halloween items. Dollar tree is always a fine spot as they have the best wall and window clings around though they're sadly lacking in the toilet cling department. I'd already nabbed a batch of clings a couple weeks ago but decided to toss in one more for my sisters apartment as it's in dire need of ghost babies. The inflatable eyeballs are yet another bit of visual clutter to hang from the trees.
Michaels has a lesser offering than previous years but these new half pumpkins for carving and hanging on the wall were absolute must haves. I'd hopped to get a truckload of em but of the small amount still in stock many were damaged. On one hand this saves me some money. On the other, it prevents me from staging our hallway like a late 90's music video.
It's possible that I've never spoken of my admiration for Menards. For a place that's meant to serve hardware and home repair needs it's a true bastion for novelties. Like Michael's, their offering was a little lighter this year but there were still some items of merit, among them were light up eyes for the yard and a screaming face for one of the trees.
Of all the stores visited during the spree, Target had the best decorations available though I chose to hold off until some of it goes on sale. Honestly $25 isn't too bad for an animatronic cat but it's hard to budget such item in when your work schedule is “sometime.” Expect something from a return trip in the coming weeks as there's just too many goodies to pass up.

Before I even knew when my shopping trip would commence, I was finally able to get a good price on the big box for Smash-Up. For those who've never encountered it, Smash-Up is a card game where each player mixes two distinct groups together (think zombie pirates, or ghost dinosaurs) and battle over bases with different abilities. It's akin to taking a game like Magic the gathering and stripping away complexities only to replace them with fun & chaos. Proper Storage for the game ran dry quite some time ago and this big box provides enough space for at least a decade worth of expansions while adding geeks to mix in with the other cards. Thanks to the inclusion of different monsters & fantastical creatures this is a fine tile to include in your Halloween game nights.
Barnes and Noble was in the midst of fall clearance which usually provides nothing of interest for me. That was pretty much the situation once again except for the presence of a Gracie Law Funko Pop. Seeing as I'd received Lo-Pan for my birthday, this presented an excellent opportunity to give him a bride for just over four bucks.
B&N also had the producers cut of Halloween 6 which I simply couldn't resist. While far from the best entry in the series, The Curse of Michael Myers served as my entry point to the franchise when I was just a wee lad. The Producer's cut is a very different flick from what the theatrical version had to offer but I wouldn't call it a better movie. There's less obnoxious musical score (good) that's more repetitive (bad). There's more mysticism and thought put into the cult subplot (good) but it veers into the silly when Paul Rudd stops Michael with magic stones (bad). It's kind of a mess and not wildly different enough to make up for the shortcomings.
We still had a small stack of games and movies which folks refused to buy during our yard sale. This meant a trip to disc traders was in order to turn the stragglers into something else. I was able to garner just enough cash to add a few titles to the horror collection and finally give Watch Dogs a try. Overall I'm enjoying the game despite some a fair share if irritations. No clue how I'll feel about the whole experience once it's done though so far it's more enjoyable than Assassin's Creed Unity,
As for the movies; if you've never seen The Pact I recommend you remedy that soon. It's not an amazing flick but there's some solid scares to be had and Caity Lotz spends a good amount of the film in very tiny underwear.
Coraline was a movie I'd been cautiously avoiding for years mainly due to it's director. Much as I love Nightmare Before Christmas, I can never forgive Henry Sellick for his version of James and the Giant Peach. As it was one of the first books I really read on my own, it was an important story to me and the film proved to be a great disappointment. Coraline on the other hand was surprisingly fresh and spooky. Not as good as the studios second effort, Paranorman but then again what is?

It's basically a given that if I'm in Lansing, a visit to Horrocks is in order. If you're ever in town it's a really fine spot with good produce, unique foods, awesome candy, and a massive beer selection. I pieced together a rather pricey six pack of different seasonal goodies. Let's go through em left to right.
McKenzie's Pumpkin Jack is a solid idea. I mean pumpkin hard cider stands a very good chance of being tasty yet like the standard flavors in this line it's just a little too sweet and overbearing. Not bad mind you, just a bit overdone.
Nosferatu Imperial Red from Great Lakes Brewing had me with the label art. The brewery itself has a fiarly decent track record as well. This one failed to thrill though and my brother actually thought it was awful. His opionion might be a little harsh but this was pretty disappointing.
Traveler Pumpkin Shandy is pretty tasty though like McKenzie's goes a little overboard in the sweet department. Honestly, I'd rather go with Leinenkugel's variation on this flavor as it goes down smoother.
New Belgium Pumpkick snuck into the pack at the last minute with me thinking it was a simple pumpkin ale. Not so as this is both pumpkin and cranberry, making for one of the better drinks I've had in the last week. It's not for everyone since the cranberry portion is pretty strong but I liked it.
Samuel Adams Pumpkin Batch was the pick of the litter thanks to a very balanced taste that never veered too far into the spice or beer department. It's odd as I don't recall Sam Adams pumpkin efforts being this good. Suppose that explains the new name.
Coronado Brewing Punkin Drublic was problematic to say the least. It has a fairly high alchohol content at 8% but the flavor was just way off mark. Not sure what the problem is since the label fails to mention anything that makes this brew unique. There's simply another flavor mixed in that doesn't completely work with the base pumpkin goodness.

Got my hands on some seasonal cookies and candies as well. Those should make good fodder for a separate post so let's hold off on those for now. However, two more funko pops were added to the collection over the weekend. Deathwing is an awesome dragon who hails from World of Warcraft. I've zero experience with the game itself but I couldn't resist getting a pop this cool, all the more as I got a buy one get one half off deal with Pumpkin Jack who makes for an outstanding spirit totem for the season.

That's all for for now. Be sure to come back soon. Really soon, like maybe later today, for an unboxing. See ya then.

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